Great Central Fair of the Sanitary Commission
Library of Congress.
Women played an important role during the Civil War. Not only were they nurses, but a group of them created the United States Sanitary Commission in 1861. This commission of women volunteers organized the donation of supplies and money to the army. Members held fairs, such as the one this flyer is advertising. The group urged people in the area to either mail in or bring supplies to the fair. This advertisement for the Restaurant Department of the Great Central Fair indicates the event's regional reach with its appeal for contributions from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. It also encourages all donations no matter if they are big or small, “let them be ever so small, they will be thankfully received.”
Fair for the sick and wounded
Courtesy of Mary Anne Eves
Civilian-organized fairs were a popular means by which Philadelphians raised funds in support of relief efforts on behalf of Union soldiers. This document advertises a fair that was held on October 21, 1862 to help collect supplies for sick and wounded Civil War soldiers. This fair was held by the United States Sanitary Commission, an organization run by women hoping to gather supplies and money to help those fighting in the war.
Clara Barton photographed by Mathew Brady around 1865 from the Civil War period of her life. She is about 43 years old
Clara Barton National Historic Site
Julia Ward Howe
Library of Congress
Crusade for the Vote is a comprehensive educational resource for students and teachers that examines the history of the U.S. woman's suffrage movement.